I've been making this salad since college when it was first discovered on the back of a Knorr Creamy Pesto Pasta Sauce Mix packet. My college roommate, Christine, who follows this blog but despite my pathetic pleading refuses to acknowledge any other social media, will most definitely remember this recipe with fondness. Being able to make something in college that tastes halfway decent is an easy way to impress just about anyone else in college.
Every time I make this salad I am immediately asked for the recipe. It's so simple and easy, I'm almost ashamed to post it because now everyone will know I spent exactly 10 minutes putting it together for their book club/picnic/BBQ/party. After making it for the book club ladies last week, I promised I would blog about it the next time I made it so it would be pin-able on Pinterest.
If you want to skip right to the recipe, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Here's the stuff you're gonna need.
While your noodles are boiling, wash and cut the tomatoes in half. The original recipe calls for 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, but I always use grape tomatoes because I like the smaller size. I also use half the amount of tomatoes than the original recipe called for, so if you like a lot of tomatoes, use twice as many as I tell you below in my version.
In a big bowl, mix up sauce mix, vinegar, mayo, and milk. One thing about the pasta sauce mix - it has to be the Knorr Creamy Pesto Sauce Mix. The non-creamy Knorr pesto sauce mix will not taste the same. I found this out the hard way.
When the pasta is done, rinse it with cool water until it's at least room temperature.
Mix the pasta, tomatoes, and mozzarella together with the sauce. The original recipe says you can either use shredded mozzarella or cubed. I like shredded myself, and I always buy the larger shreds rather than the "fancy" shreds.
Get it alllll mixed up, but don't go crazy or the tomato seeds will spew out all over the rest of it.
Serve and enjoy.
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
1 (1.2 oz) pkg Knorr Creamy Pesto Pasta Sauce Mix
3/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 pint grape tomatoes -- halved
8 ounces pasta twists or rotelle (about 4 c), cooked and rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella
In large bowl, stir pasta sauce mix, mayo, milk, and vinegar until blended. Add tomatoes, pasta and cheese; toss to coat. Cover; chill to blend flavors.